SNU offers a wide variety of well-known sports such as football, basketball, soccer, etc. to fit all students’ talents. SNU has always tried to accommodate many student-athletes and continues to widen its range of sports with the incorporation of the sport, STUNT.
The history of STUNT dates back to 2010, when a college in North Carolina, Methodist University of Fayetteville, formed its first STUNT scrimmage against the University of North Carolina. Nearly thirty coaches gathered to witness this exciting new event. Since the first STUNT scrimmage, more colleges began forming STUNT and decided to make their first tournament for teams to compete. High schools later created STUNT teams, and the NCAA added STUNT as a rising women’s sport.
STUNT will officially start their first season for SNU in Spring 2024 and most of SNU’s cheerleaders will join the team. However, many students are not aware of the sport or that SNU even has the team, so I interviewed the STUNT’s coach, Coach Hamilton, to bring light to the sport. I asked Coach Hamilton her opinion on what STUNT is. Hamilton responded, “STUNT is a new female sport that incorporates skills derived from cheerleading. STUNT is an exciting head-to-head game between two teams who execute skills-based routines in various categories, such as partner stunts, jumps and tumbling, pyramids and tosses, and team routines.”
I asked Coach Hamilton if she considers STUNT an underrated or overrated sport. Hamilton responded, “I wouldn’t say STUNT is an ‘underrated or overlooked sport.’ A lot of times, cheerleading is an overlooked sport mostly because people don’t know or understand what goes into cheerleading. In the past, cheerleading has been overlooked here at SNU, but we are changing that this year. As a coaching team, we have built and continue to build a new program. We have athletes from many athletic backgrounds that give us the skills and strength we need for STUNT.”
I then asked a few players on the STUNT team about what made them interested in STUNT. Sophomore Rachel Fonseca responded, “What initially made me interested in the STUNT team was the competitive aspect of the sport. It offered a new excitement to the cheer world, and I wanted to be a part of it.” Freshman Molly Gomez added, “What made me interested in the STUNT team was the opportunity to be part of a new sports team at SNU, learn new skills, compete, and be pushed to help me become a better athlete and student.” Freshman Shannel Adams shared the same sentiment when she said, “What made me interested in STUNT was being able to see what I can do. Learning new stunts sometimes feels scary, but as soon as I get it, I am extremely happy. The feeling of achievement really made me interested in STUNT.”
Chayanna Watson, a cheerleader who helped in having STUNT become a newly added sport for SNU concluded, “I was interested in bringing STUNT to SNU because of the competitive atmosphere it would bring to SNU and its cheer team. I knew STUNT was an attractive option for cheerleaders from different skill levels, which is exactly the environment we need to cater to. Even though some of us come from competitive cheer backgrounds and some from gameday backgrounds, we still have the same opportunities because we can fulfill both roles.”
In my last question, I asked Coach Hamilton how she felt about this team. Hamilton responded, “We have a lot of amazing girls with a lot of skill levels. I love seeing them work hard and learn new skills. Learning 24 different routines is a lot, but this team is dedicated and it will show out on the mat how hard they have worked.”
To help support the STUNT players in their first season, students can check out their schedule here.
Photo by SNU Creative